Putnam Investments Inc. of Boston has ended its subadvisory role for variable annuities issued by American Skandia Life Assurance Corp.

Putnam made the decision last week after a review of the business, a spokesman said. He declined to elaborate but did say Putnam is reviewing all its variable annuity businesses. The decision is unrelated to its new partnership with Allstate to create a variable annuity, he said.

American Skandia of Shelton, Conn, said in a statement Wednesday that it had expected Putnam's withdrawal and is considering a short list of replacement candidates.

American Skandia was the sixth-largest seller of annuities in 1998, with $4.2 billion in sales. Through banks, it was the 10th-largest seller of annuities, with $633 million in sales, according to Kenneth Kehrer Associates, Princeton, N.J.

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